Reaction to prepper ‘advertisement’


I wholeheartedly agree that we need to have a supply of food and water on hand for an emergency. However, rapid, man-caused climate change, ocean acidification, ocean hypoxia and over-population are all problems that could be addressed and be solved with visionary leadership.

Preppers are, in part, responding to the issues caused by man’s impact on the climate because the direction this country is going is rapidly taking us to some sort of an Armageddon, and some seem to think the only response is armed survival. My question for you: Is that the kind of anarchical world you want your wife, children and grandchildren to try to survive in? Let’s focus on the man-caused ones. The “big one,” while locally serious, will not be national or worldwide disaster and help should start flowing in a few weeks.

Instead of trying to scare the pants off ordinary citizens with weapons of war, like an AK-47, wouldn’t it really be better to work together in addressing all of the above issues, and especially what I consider the most serious threat to mankind — man-caused rapid climate change — which is also driving ocean acidification and hypoxia?

Like it or not, you can sit on your porch with your AK-47 in your lap and watch the oceans die, our forests burn due to severe drought, fish, crabs, clams die, all the game killed by greedy hunters, and you might even get a bit thirsty as the streams and wells dry up because rain patterns are changing. You might be a survivor, but is that really living? And the climate problems will still be there.

I am a retired atmospheric scientist. Fifty years ago in graduate school, we were already learning about the chemistry of how increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide would cause ocean acidification. We studied science-based, two-dimensional, greenhouse gas models in the early 1970s. That was all we had then. Models have continuously improved.

Even when I was on the faculty at OSU in the early 1980s, my atmospheric science co-workers were already making great strides in modeling climate. The weather models and climate models today are almost mind-bogglingly complex, but in my opinion they both produce believable results. Weather models use real-time worldwide daily weather observations to make their predictions. Climate models are fundamentally hundreds of computer runs of weather models averaged together where actual daily weather observations are replaced with realistic variations of the daily observations.

If you are like me, I am astounded how well today’s weather forecasts can most of the time predict the weather accurately seven to 10 days in the future. I am willing to bet you look at these forecasts and plan your outing for next week. These are modeling results you can see and use in your everyday life. I suggest it is not too much of a leap of faith to say that climate models, which are based on the same mathematical elements used in weather forecasts, also produce predictions which we are already beginning to see play out around the country and world.

Look around you with an open mind and see what is already happening even locally to our ocean. You can’t stop it by buying a gun, but you can stop it by demanding our leaders act now. We can either get state and national leadership who want to address all these serious issues now, or you can fortify and hope for the best, which is not the kind of world I want to live in or that our children deserve to inherit.

Paul Katen is a resident of Otis.

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